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GOGO GOOD TO GO WITH MMA BELT

Joe Gogo wins an MMA belt on short notice in Mexico.

By Patrick Lujan

It’s a small MMA organization but it’s a championship belt, nevertheless.

Guam native Joe Gogo took a championship fight on two days notice and came out victorious, earning a second round submission to earn the International Thai Boxing Organization (ITBO) featherweight championship in Ensanada, Mexico at the San Nicholas Hotel and Casino.

“I was a replacement for one of my teammates that suffered an injury in camp,” the 25-year-old told GSPN. “They asked me Thursday evening right before I was gonna clock in at work. I woke up Friday morning and had to lose eight pounds before 12 pm for the weigh ins. Luckily the fight was already set for a catch weight of 140, so I didn’t have to go down to 135 lbs.”

Two Jofis: Baby Joe Taimanglo was ringside for his cousin's championship bout in Mexico. (courtesy photo)

Two Jofis: Baby Joe Taimanglo was ringside for his cousin’s championship bout in Mexico. (courtesy photo)

Fighting in Mexico wasn’t any different for Gogo, who is used to being the underdog “simply because nobody knows me.”

“The fight went well. I could tell I was the superior striker from the get-go as I landed leg kicks and kicks to his head. Eventually he took me down and went for submissions, I defended them and got back to my feet then took him down ending the first round with ground and pound.

“Second round came, I landed a few combinations and right as he ducked his head to avoid them I through a heavy knee that opened his face up. I was going for the knockout but he did a good job at wrestling so I was able to land more shots. Eventually I took him down and landed some elbows, he turned away from them and that’s when I took his back and choked him.”

In his corner was none other than first cousin Baby Joe Taimanglo, who crossed the border from his training grounds of San Diego to support his primo.

Having Baby Joe is very important because we grew up together and we train everyday together,” Gogo added. “He knows me. I had a lot of confidence going in there because I go to war with my cousin regularly and he’s one of the best. Plus, I train at Alliance MMA with Dominick Cruz and other UFC vets.”

Gogo is still new in the MMA game, improving to 2-0, and says smaller shows like this is a stepping stone to get into the UFC.

The last time Gogo was on Guam was last November for a family funeral.

 

Joe Gogo finishes off his opponent in the second round to win the ITBO featherweight championship. (ITBO photo)

Joe Gogo finishes off his opponent in the second round to win the ITBO featherweight championship. (ITBO photo)

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National Guard Athletes

Scott Eclavea

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